Photographs

The cover of Melissa’s book depicts a brothel that looks to the uninitiated viewer like a photograph of a prison, and like others must be, I was horrified to think that brothels actually had fences like that to keep women inside. But the closer I looked, the more I realized that the placement of the barbed wire actually looks like it is meant to keep people out rather than in. Which would, of course, make more sense to someone who lives in Las Vegas and has friends who’ve worked in the brothels. Imagine the peeping toms that must come along! I know if I were working at a brothel, I wouldn’t want the possibility of someone peeping into my wndow to see what I might be up to at any given time, so I think I would like the security such a fence offered for my protection.

But below I have pasted a photograph of a fence around an actual prison. The barbed wire part, you’ll notice, is facing inwards– to prevent people from getting out. That makes much more sense to me.

In contrast to Melissa’s chosen photograph, I have pasted below many other photographs of brothels:

The above photos were taken from

http://www.cmdrmark.com/brothels.html

Mustang Ranch

Chicken Ranch

(I have actually been here as a guest- it is really cute. Didn’t see any barbed wire. I was treated with complete respect by everyone.)

kit kat ranch

Kit Kat Ranch

Sheri’s Ranch

Cottontail Ranch

So, see? They’re not all that bad.

12 Responses

  1. I’ve worked in the Nevada brothel system and I’ve driven past various brothels. So far, I’ve never noticed any brothels that are surrounded by the barb wire that is shown on the cover of Farley’s book.

  2. oh, wait, you mean Farley would choose the most shocking photo she could to represent the “typical NV brothel”?

    Nah, never…

  3. Is that a photo or some type of a created graphic? It looks more like the latter.

  4. The cover of Farley’s book is obviously computer generated, and pretty bad graphics at that. However, I’ve seen at least one TV commentator take the cover at face value, stating that the brothels look like intimidating places.

    I have some photos somewhere that I took two years back of the abandoned old Mustang Ranch. Maybe that site was inspiration for the cover, because it was surrounded by an intimidating-looking fence, however that’s because the place was abandoned property. It had a big “No Hunting” sign on the fence, which I though was kind of ironic.

  5. “The cover of Farley’s book is obviously computer generated, and pretty bad graphics at that.”

    In fact, it looks like something out of Second Life.

  6. I would love to be locked inside any of them for 2 weeks. They look very nice.

    I would imagine they will all be doing a little ugrading after this book. In fact, I bet they will all be on their best behavior for a few months in case another nosy journalist or researcher comes through the door.

  7. That is an excellent observation! Not sure I ever would have picked up on that barbed wire thing.

    It kind of reminds me of the articles I’ve read in the SF Chronicle about all the mounted cameras in the Asian massage parlors. The authors have always implied that they were used to make sure that none of the women could escape. I remember thinking that it was strange that it never occurred to the reporters that they had the cameras for the same reason all the liquor stores in the area had them- for security purposes. A brothel has ten times the reason for wanting to take every safety precaution. Not only do they have to worry about robbery but also sexual predators harming their employees. In fact, Norma Hotaling mentioned that, too, in her interview with Meredeth May. How could one who rallies against sex work because of the higher incidence of rape criticize these establishments for taking measures to protect the safety of the women inside?

  8. I found the pics of brothels intriguing! In my state of Australia, it’s illegal to visually advertise brothels, so most just look like houses or apartments with really, really big street numbers.

  9. Absolutely, we should only judge the brothels by what what they look like on the outside. We should never question or regulate what is going on inside.

  10. Sure! Let’s pretend anyone at all was saying that, Josie.

  11. Just happened across this site.
    Actually when I read a bit about what Farley had written, it occurred to me that lot of the whole thing of women being trapped was actually them not WANTING to leave because of the fear of running into creepy dudes and johns. This occurred to me because even at my totally nonsexual job we’ve had problems with customers stalking employees.
    The thing is that I’ve had to live in that kind of fear of sexual harassment and violence when I lived in India and most of the men had in the area I lived had seen women who looked like me in pornography (there’s a huge amount of pornography in urban India) but didn’t know any in real life. It made it incredibly stressful to even set foot outside of the walled institute where I worked.
    I feel like this is just as effective an imprisonment as regulated imprisonment is. I also don’t doubt that the nature of the average prostitute-pimp relationship is such that his wishes, while not legally binding, would exert a massive influence over her decisions.

  12. Also, I took the cover to be a metaphorical/artistic statement. This is what most people do with book covers.

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